May 1, 2009

Streaming Media in Windows 7 – Streaming your collection over the Internet

Filed under: Windows 7 — Simon May @ 2:28 pm

One of the coolest new features that came along with the Windows 7 RC was the added functionality of being able to stream media over the Internet, so where ever you are you have access to your entire collection.  Many of us have had this type of functionality with Windows Media Center and Web Guide in Windows Vista, but this makes it much easier.

It’s a two part puzzle though, two Windows 7 PCs need to be linked together to enable streaming.  When you are outside the home this makes it nice and secure to share media, don’t forget there’s a good chance you’ll want to do this over a public network.

Enabling Internet Streaming

enable internet streaming As with all the rest of these posts the most strait forward way to configure the streaming options is to use Windows Media Player, so launch it and click the Stream button to access the setting.  To turn on Internet streaming select Allow Internet access to home media… and a popup will appear with more options on it.

There’s a very important requirement to secure access to your media over the internet and it all revolves around a clever feature called Linked IDs.  A linked ID links the login on your PC with a Windows Live ID, so your PC knows that any Linked IDs are also you, and it forms the basis of access over the internet to your media.  Linked IDs can also be used when sharing media in a HomeGroup in Windows 7.Link online IDs

Click Link an online ID and a window will pop up where the details of the IDs to link are set, this can also be done through Control Panel. The first thing that’s needed is to setup the links to an Online ID provider, like Windows Live, click Add an online ID provider to start off.

Your favorite browser will fire up and go to a list of available providers, right now Windows Live is the only one, but it’s possible for others to become providers – so you could end up using your Facebook account.  On this page select Windows Live and a download page will appear for the Windows Live ID Sign-in Assistant.  Download the version for your type of installation, either 64 or 32 bit and run it, once it’s installed a new provider will be added to the Link Online IDs page.

link online id with provider Now you can actually link your IDs together, so select the Link online ID link under WindowsLiveID and enter your Windows Live ID details (username and password).  Once the ID has been verified you’ll be taken back to the Link Online IDs page but now it will display the linked ID.  Click OK.

Next you’ll need to go back to Windows Media Player and the Internet Home Media Access dialogue will be up still, select Allow Internet access to home media to confirm that’s what you want to do.  Since it’s a security thing UAC will pop up asking for confirmation.

Enabling Internet Streaming on the PC that you want to stream to

The second part of the puzzle is to link a second PC to enable the streaming, again it’s simple but not very obvious what to do.

On the second PC do exactly the same thing as above (how did you not guess that ???) and now on your second PC you’ll see that the first PC is listed under Other libraries and the two are linked together.  In fact both PCs are linked as pears, both is capable of both streaming and receiving media.

Posted by Simon May, follow me on Twitter or if you like email me
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